I’d just like it to stop here.

It wasn’t the content of the email that upset me. It was the sender. Her full name pinged into my inbox – it wasn’t shortened. It wasn’t the name that we use for her. It was the name on her birth certificate and her passport. Her official name. Her grown up name. The subject was ‘homework’ and the tone was excited. “Hi Mum, I handed in my Math Homework…I’ll tell you all about it when you pick me up :):):):):)”

An email.

My 11 year old is corresponding with me via email.

So what’s the big deal? Get over yourself. What a self indulgent, first world problem to have. People are starving, others have lost their homes, their jobs. Someone, somewhere just lost their mother. There are so many bigger problems in the world. I know all of this. But when the email came through, a little piece of my heart chipped. It didn’t break, it didn’t explode, it just chipped.

I wasn’t the only one. I forwarded it on to G and received his baffled reply. “We’re communicating via email now?”

I don’t want my children to get any older.

There, I said it out loud. You want to know something else? While I’m here confessing. I tell them, demand them, not to get any older. “You can’t be 9? Let’s not do 9, let’s just stay 8”.

I love their milestones and achievements but I’d like it to stop now. We’re out of nappies/diapers, everyone can hold a fork and after 10 years, we’ve finally traveled without a stroller. The physical slug is over and I’m happy to have said goodbye.

I’d just like to stop here.

It’s not like I was careless with the time I was given. I listened when I was told “they grow up so quickly” and “hold on to it, it’ll be gone before you know it”. I’ve held on, I’m hanging on, but I can’t control it, it just keeps moving. It’s racing away from me and I’m trying desperately to slow it down.

It’s chipping away at my heart.

I don’t want them to get any older. I like it just how it is.

How do I slow it down?

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